Bedford Blues have bolstered their ranks with the capture of Tongan international utility back Viliami Hakalo.
Hakalo, who can play in the centre or at fullback, made his test debut for Tonga coming off the bench against Japan in 2006 when he was just 19 years old.
Now 27, Billy and Mako Vunipola’s cousin joins the Blues from Toa Saracens in Tonga with the intention of adding some South Sea Islander magic to Bedford’s back line and staking a claim for a spot in the Tongan World Cup squad.
“Viliami is a tough-tackling Tongan who is as comfortable in attack as he is in defence,” said Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer. “He gives us an extra option in midfield and I’m sure that he is going to be a great success at Goldington Road.
“From what we’ve seen of him he looks very comfortable on the ball and for us to be able to sign someone of Viliami’s quality at this stage will certainly add to the competition within the squad.”
Standing at six feet tall and weighing in at around 92kg, Hakalo has represented his country in both the 15 and seven man versions of the game.
Rayer added: “Viliami arrived last week fit and ready to go and his final clearance documents are now in place so he is available for selection this week. We are all looking forward to seeing him in action however the lads did perform particularly well last weekend so we’ll make a late call on his inclusion for the Plymouth game.”